Country fireworks show

Dad continued to recover today. He sat up on the bed and in the chair, which doesn’t sound like much but is a giant mobility leap forward. He also ate more than 3 whole bites of food and can have all the water he wants. He asked Azman the Wonder Nurse to keep the water jug within eyesight, just for comfort that it’s real.

Dad’s biggest concern today was whether he could see the fireworks from his hospital-room window. We didn’t know the answer, but I’ll tell you something — he missed quite the backyard display at home.

My parents live in what I call “east country,” not quite deep country, but you can see hay bales from their backyard. It’s the type of place where you can sit on the deck at night, listen to frogs and crickets make their noises and see all sorts of stars. Not just planes you hope are stars.

In neighborhoods like this, east-country people take any celebrations that combine imbibing and lighting things on fire very seriously. Thus the Great Backyard Illegal Fireworks Competition of 2013 was born.

First, remember it’s dark in east country in ways it never gets dark in the city. So, from my parents’ deck, I first thought I was watching a neighborhood-wide flashlight-tag game. Then, I noticed the flashlights and illegal fireworks worked in tandem. I wish I could show you the procedure — intoxicated man with lighter in one hand, flashlight in the other running toward incendiary device; lighting of device, sometimes with cursing, often with “HERE IT GOES!” type admonishment; then flashlight bobbing back toward house doubletime. Then BOOM! WOOOOOO! Rinse and repeat.

I know my dad would have simultaneously enjoyed the dueling displays from two neighbors whose dining rooms we can see into (we’re THAT close) and wanted to lecture the intoxicated gentlemen (he’d call them gentlemen) about the time at which they made such noise and how illegal such things are.

As for me, I stood outside and enjoyed the show. At least until one of the guys started belting GOOOOOD BLESSSSS UH-MERRRRRICAAAAH and setting off screamers sideways. Toward the deck I was on. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll have a word with that gentleman. But tonight, for dad, I enjoyed the show.

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